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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   11 September 2013  

India agrees to provide $66.15 million to Laos

VIENTIANE: SEPTEMBER 10, 2013: India today agreed to provide USD 66.15 million to Laos for irrigation and hydro power projects, including the extension of transmission lines, for socio-economic development in the South East Asian nation.

The decision was taken during External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's ongoing visit to the country to participate in the 7th India-Lao Joint Commission Meeting (JMC) on Bilateral Cooperation.

Khurshid held the meeting on bilateral cooperation with his counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Laos in the capital, Vientiane.

An Agreement under Line of Credit for four Irrigation Projects in three provinces in the Lao PDR for USD 30.94 million was signed and conversion of another Line of Credit to substitute the Nam Boun-2 hydro power plant by the extension of transmission lines to Thasala-Laksao amounting to USD 35.25 million was approved during the meeting, an official statement said.

The projects will contribute to socio-economic development in Laos, it said.

During the JCM, both Ministers expressed satisfaction with the development in bilateral relations and noted that close cooperation and partnership between the two countries have expanded rapidly for mutual benefit, in recent years.

India reiterated its preparedness to continue to provide assistance to the areas of water management and irrigation, energy generation and transmission and capacity building.

The Ministers identified agriculture, defence, ICT, culture, education, health, trade and investment promotion, mining as priority areas of cooperation between the two countries that would give further impetus to bilateral relations.

A number of new initiatives were taken to promote people-to-people contacts, training and scholarship opportunities and expansion of private sector participation in trade and investment, as well as in health and education.

Both Ministers also exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They agreed to strengthen coordination on ASEAN and multilateral issues. Lao has extended financial support to the Nalanda University, which is being developed as a centre of international excellence.

Laos reiterated its support to India on UN and other multilateral issues.

Khurshid invited Foreign Minister of Laos to visit India for the next meeting of the Joint Commission.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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